Alluding to sexual abuse in the movie industry, Academy Award-winner Kate Winslet says she regrets having worked with specific unnamed filmmakers.
“There are directors, producers and men of power who have for decades been awarded and applauded . . . by both this industry and moviegoers alike,” Winslet, 42, said Sunday as she accepted The Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film at the 38th London Critics’ Circle Film Awards. “Indeed, many actors have had flourishing careers, due in part to roles played in their films. The message we received for years was that it was the highest compliment to be offered roles by these men,” she said, according to a transcript by the BBC.
The recent worldwide Women’s March protests, however, made her realize “that I wouldn’t be able to stand here this evening and keep to myself some bitter regrets that I have about poor decisions to work with individuals with whom I wish I had not,” she said. “It has become clear to me that by not saying anything, I might be adding to the anguish of many courageous women and men. Sexual abuse is a crime. While it rests with the rule of law to pass judgment, it lies with all of us to listen to the smallest of voices and to never stop listening.”
In her long career, Winslet has worked with Harvey Weinstein, who was fired from his Weinstein Co. after widespread allegations of sexual abuse and rape, which he has denied, were reported in October. He served as an executive producer of “The Reader” (2008), for which she won the Oscar for best actress. Last year, Winslet starred in “Wonder Wheel,” written and directed by Woody Allen, who has been at the center of abuse allegations by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow. A monthslong investigation by child-abuse specialists at Yale-New Haven Hospital in the 1990s concluded there was no molestation, as did a separate investigation by New York State child welfare services. A Connecticut state’s attorney in 1993 said he would not prosecute.
Winslet added, “Those who do have a voice are becoming afraid to say anything, because of intense scrutiny and criticism. Nobody should be exempt from having a right to speak in support of vulnerable people.” She urged the audience to “not make this about which people express public regret and those who choose not to, but instead keep the focus on the terrible, secret crimes of abuse against vulnerable children, girls, women and indeed boys and men, too.”